Eric Christensen (American) Realism Wine Painter

Christensen is a California native who began painting professionally in 1992. Since that time, he has enjoyed amazing success and a growing reputation as a celebrated Wine Country Artist. A self-taught artist, he invented a watercolor technique that allows him to create images of vibrant color that go beyond the look and depth of a high quality photograph. Christensen is truly unique in his field and is considered to be the country’s premier watercolor artist capable of hyperrealism (an advancement of photorealism or high resolution photography in paintings) through the use of standard watercolor paints. Christensen also derives inspiration from the wine country surrounding his home, which is invariably portrayed in his paintings. As Christensen asserts, “it’s about the lifestyle – and the art of Fine Living!”

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Christensen began to develop his interest in painting, along with botany, classical music, and gourmet cooking as a child in Salt Lake City, Utah. Over time he acquired a commanding knowledge in each of these fields, which have all blended to make him the preeminent artist of today. In addition to his interests, Christensen realized that he could concentrate his passion for painting into a career and opened his own Art Gallery in Yountville, California, a small picturesque town in the heart of the Napa Valley. This venture proved very successful netting Christensen exposure in national magazines and newspapers and a national television spot on “WINE COUNTRY LIVING”. Christensen, however, decided to close his gallery in 2003, allowing him to devote his full attention to painting. The artist continues to paint stunning images that remind us of the Wine Country lifestyle and delight those who collect his art.

By “pushing” watercolor paint to its absolute limits using hyper-pigmentation, Christensen has invented a new way to paint with this traditional medium. Using non-standard watercolor paper and employing a dry-brush technique, He starts out with thin washes then builds meticulously to over 30 subsequent layers of paint. You can actually see the build-up of the paint layers when you look closely at his originals. Eric’s technique allows him to achieve much stronger colors and shadows than can be found with traditional watercolor art; his paintings actually appear more like an oil painting on canvas. His original watercolors are signed and numbered limited editions on canvas can be found in fine art galleries like Art Leaders, across the U.S.

Christensen’s “wine art” begins where most contemporary wine artists leave off. He loves to capture the romance of the wine country, which he points out, “is so much more than just the wine.” His love of natural materials, particularly flowers, fruits and vegetables, also combine to make this possible. He possesses the stunning ability to paint the subtleties of light traveling through a flower petal or its reflection in a wine glass. Composition is one more factor that sets Christensen’s paintings apart. Each is a study in the balance between texture, height and shape. The placement of objects in his paintings must combine to make sense and represent a scene found in real life, in a kitchen, a wine cellar, or in the vineyard.

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